|Posted by Gail on April 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM||comments (0)|
I successfully convinced the kids that the mallard derivative ducks, Sonny, Jayne, and Peepers, needed to be set free. The explanation I gave was that we have enjoyed them as pets for a year, but that now they need to go find girl ducks and make babies.
What I didn't mention was that now that they are a year old, living in a pen, they routinely prison rape each other. 0.o THIS is why you don't have an all male flock.
So today we took pics with the ducks and tried to set them free in the creek.
They wouldn't go in the water, but instead wandered along the shoreline. This evening, after dark, they came up onto the lawn and were wandering around quacking and chattering while they cruised the front lawn for bugs.
My neighbors were not going to be pleased.
So I successfully herded them back into the back yard, and then (with some help) into the pen. We'll try releasing them at a pond with ducks and see if that goes better.
oops. Domesticated ducks are domesticated.
(the kids won't let us eat them though and I highly doubt there is someone with an MD flock looking for three males of various style)
pictured: Jayne with Peaches, Sonny with Monkey
|Posted by Gail on March 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
But now I'm back. Sorry about that. Life got crazy, but mostly not on the permaculture front.
We did pick up new chicks today. I'm gonna take a risk that the dog has gotten the raccoon under control. We lost all 10 of our hens last year to a bored and destructive raccoon, and have since gotten a beautiful brindle pit bull who has taught that raccoon to fear the inside of my house. Hopefully she has also taught it to avoid the yard, but that is harder to confirm.
We'll know soon. The hard way.
So we picked up six two week old chicks today: three production reds and three barred rocks, and we'll be picking up four grown hens from Oma, who gave them to me for Solstice.
Here's hoping the racoon is gone for good. ~crosses fingers~
|Posted by Gail on June 19, 2011 at 9:59 PM||comments (0)|
I owe ya'll an update, and I'll get to it, I promise, with pictures and everything. However, this entry is just to take a moment and say: we have baby ducks!
Penny's brood hatched on Saturday. I'll show the story in pics, though you really had to be there to see the torturously slow joy of it.
HHatching has begun! See the tiny holes (and one bigger one)? The largest hole here is NOT the egg that hatched first. That little guy got all turned around and didn't open the narrow end like the others...he was actually fifth out!
We have birth! The first duckling tumbles into the world.
Then there were three!
Four, and almost five...
There's number 5, all wet and new.
Six and Seven tumble out!
See the tiny baby by her feet? So small compared to mama. She is staring down Top Chicken (who blinked).
Just about done. This is at 9, at that point I went in for the evening and didn't make it back out. This is while she went away to get a drink.
She was so proud of herself I just couldn't bear to take them all...but I knew I needed to take most of them to keep them safe from the ravages of Sarge and Top Chicken. So I watched them for a while and left her the one chick that was REALLY good about staying right under her when she walked around and doing everything she did, then stole the other eleven away to a place where they can eat and drink unharrassed. They are doing well, and she is still really proud of her remaining duck. Though she sure doesn't trust me right now.
I wouldn't either.
Three eggs that didn't hatch, and I don't even know what she did with the last one... :S I'll steal the duds tomorrow, I didn't want to ravage too much in one day.
So we have babies. And....Rosita is setting another nest:
|Posted by Gail on May 27, 2011 at 5:27 PM||comments (0)|
Penny has been spending more and more time on the nest.
Top Chicken still thinks that nest is the best one.
So every day Top Chicken lets Penny know that it is Time To Move Right NOW, and Penny dutifully gets off the nest to eat and stretch and pick on the other ducks, while Top gets in and settles herself over the nest in her best matronly manner, and lays her Daily Egg.
Chickens are not as big as ducks.
The effect of this system is that if I want to get the chicken eggs out of the duck nest before they become incorporated into the egg rotation, I have to either catch them in the middle of a shift change, or go out when the day is hottest and Miss Penny is likely to be taking a break to let the eggs not overheat while she harasses the Rita mercilessly.
At least until Sarge hisses at them to cut that shit out.